Alexander Rybak – interview with “Morning Studio of Good Mood”

Winner of 2009 Eurovision Song Contest Alexander Rybak preparing Belarusian representative for 2015 competition

He is bright, charismatic, talented, creative and incredibly charming... He is a Norwegian singer and violinist of Belarusian origin who won the song Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in 2009. He received a record number of points at Eurovision for his own song "Fairytale".
He is bright, charismatic, talented, creative and incredibly charming… He is a Norwegian singer and violinist of Belarusian origin who won the song Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in 2009. He received a record number of points at Eurovision for his own song “Fairytale”.

The interview was published on www.ctv.by

Alexander Rybak gave an interview to the CTV channel on the program “Morning. Studio of Good Mood.”

You have recently returned from other Belarusian cities.

Alexander Rybak, the singer:
I am glad that I will finally implement my idea of a gift for Belarus. This is a song for the Eurovision Song Contest. But to begin with, we will have to qualify from the national selection. Now I am selecting girls for a group. They will sing about their Belarusian accent. The idea came to me a long time ago, a few years ago. This year, in Vitebsk, I composed the melody and wrote the lyrics.

These girls sing about their desire to travel around the world… But! With the exception that their accent will always be with them!’ All Slavic people try to sing with an accent in order to be Americans or Europeans but we don’t succeed! 

Everyone thinks that in order to speak English well one needs to pronounce the letter “r” in a right way. 

Alexander Rybak, the singer:
It would be good, but instead of trying to copy others… Beyonce, for example… They already exist. They are real. Belarusians need to show their culture. For example, I want to show our folklore. I have thought about the elements of folklore.  And that’s why our team invites girls who can sing folk songs.

This means that the song will be with elements of the Belarusian language? Will there be the Belarusian language in the song?

Alexander Rybak, the singer:
We have a very nice guy in the team who writes the lyrics. We asked him to compose a ditty in the Belarusian language. To see whether I will understand it. If I do then we will include it into the song.

We know you as a singer, and now you acting in the capacity of a producer. What is more difficult: to be an artist or take responsibility for the fate of others?

Alexander Rybak, the singer:
I like to be creative. I do not quite understand what the word “producer” means in Belarus and Russia. In Norway, a producer is a person who invests money in someone. There is also the word “music producer”,  a person who sits at the music console and does everything himself. Here any famous person can be a producer.

Alexander Rybak the singer
Alexander Rybak the singer

Did you audition many girls?

Alexander Rybak, the singer:
Actually that’s not fair! Unfair because they are all very beautiful. And remember that there are super talented girls who sing in a very unique way but are not suitable for my project. Since this will be a group, they must complement each other.

I have always fought for the fact that one should not think about a format. I often compose songs that do not fit into particular formats. They are popular on YouTube but radio stations tell me: ‘I’m sorry, Sasha, this does not fit into our format!.’ This is understandable. But it still hurts.

There are a lot of projects. In recent years I have been working on the musical in Norway. I wrote the story myself. It’s about a troll. He lives in the woods. He does not trust anyone. He also plays the violin. In my fairy tale, no one understands the troll but so he is very nice.

You have a good experience. You once wrote music for a TV series. 

Alexander Rybak, the singer:
Not for the series. For the film. A Norwegian company invited me to be a voice actor for the first and second season. The film is called “How to Train Your Dragon.”  I wrote the song. It was originally for my musical. But I felt that it is not suitable for the Norwegian language. I decided that I needed to do something in English. And then I thought that it would be good to include it in the DreamWorks soundtrack. I’m sorry that I do not know anyone there (laughs), but in spite of everything I still sent them a letter with a song. Imagine that it was four months (actually 4 weeks red.anm.) before the premiere! I myself knew that in the USA everything is planned two years in advance. They told me: ‘Sasha, we know about you but you know that we have already signed all contracts… We are sorry!’.
But two weeks later, they called me and said: ‘We really like the song, we still want to include it in the movie!’ And they included this song in the subs and in the album soundtrack. And I made a music video specifically for the movie. I hope that I will have more interesting projects. 

Here is the full video-version of this interview. Translation is coming soon! 

 Recording by Tessa Lande

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